Saturday, May 7, 2016

I Walked With A Zombie (1943)

Starring James Ellison, Frances Dee, Tom Conway, Edith Barrett, James Bell
Directed by Jacques Tourneur
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A nurse travels to an island in the West Indies to take over the care of a plantation owner's invalid wife, and wonders if the voodoo-practicing natives might be able to cure her.

One of Val Lewton's best films, and although for me it doesn't have quite the same impact as Cat People, what it does have is wonderful direction from Tourneur, excellent photography and editing, and a memorable song commenting on the film from calypso singer Sir Lancelot.  The romance between Dee and Conway isn't quite successfully realized, and the picture's a bit too brief to delve deeply enough into the native rituals and the estranged relationship between Conway and Ellison's characters.  Nevertheless, I'd still rank it as a horror classic and worthwhile viewing.

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